It’s been a week since a place that so many called home, with so much history and unique quirkiness that I loved, was catastrophically swept up in flames. The Lahaina fires are so devastating and heartbreaking it’s hard to figure out the words to write about it.
But what’s not hard is to share ways to help. I do NOT like to get political, but if the $700 that’s being sent to each family that lost everything is a sign of how much our government is helping the victims, every dollar someone can send or spend helps. Thankfully, there are so many people who’ve stepped in and made it so simple to donate. The least we can do is make some contributions and of course, share ways to help.
• Check out this google doc – A few Maui locals created this spreadsheet containing Venmo and GoFundMe links for families affected by the fire, along with a blurb written by each family/person sending their request for help. FYI, affected in most cases means they lost everything – homes, businesses, even family members. So please check it out and donate when you can. Each entry had been vetted by locals, too.
• Check out what Living Earth Systems is doing and donate – They’re building off-the-grid shelters for people who lost their homes, providing sustenance to those who’ve lost everything, and reconnecting families and friends (and I’ve seen some pet reunions, too). @livingearthsystems
• If you go to Instagram, there’s an account, @lahaina_ohana_venmo/ That’s a mutual aid initiative created by Lahaina residents for Lahaina residents affected by the fires. Please click over and show these posts some love, scan the QR codes and it’ll take you directly to their Venmos.
• Shop online from Maui businesses – There’s a new pay-it-forward initiative where you can buy a gift card from a local Maui business and fire victims can show their ID and use the gift cards you purchased to get some food or merchandise. It’s being updated but here is the start of the list with links.
Also, small businesses island-wide are being affected and hurting. People are being laid off in places on the opposite side of the island from Lahaina, simply because of a lack of cash flow. So if you have an inkling to buy something, search out a Mauai-based business to do your online shopping. ( If you are one please put a link to your store in the comments below so people can go shop) A lot of these businesses are donating sales to help fire victims as well.
• If you are visiting Maui or anywhere in Hawaii, please be respectful. Maybe I’m weird, but when I travel, I feel honored to be a guest somewhere new and aim to be as respectful, appreciative, and kind as possible. Trust me, it makes travel that much more impactful and positive, too. The last thing anyone on Maui needs or wants to hear is a visitor complaining or feeling entitled right now. Or using it as a backdrop for Instagram and tik tok content in hopes of feeding their social media dopamine fix (however, helping to spread the word about a small business, ways to help, or the beauty of the community, on the other hand, is a good idea.)
• I’m kind of flabbergasted by how little media coverage this is getting – so if you see a post that’s educational and beneficial to Maui and ways to help, please share it.
• Be kind, be kind, be kind, be kind. And please…be kind. And be inspired by how much the Majui community is helping each other out, so maybe you’ll want to help out too. If there’s a way you’ve felt inclined to help, trust me there’s a company making it easy to make that happen.
Maui, my heart breaks for you and I hope peace and healing find a way to bloom rapidly again soon.